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How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?

Rick Fielding 17 Apr 00 - 12:45 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Apr 00 - 12:53 AM
wysiwyg 17 Apr 00 - 12:57 AM
GUEST 17 Apr 00 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,No 2 17 Apr 00 - 01:57 AM
DougR 17 Apr 00 - 02:07 AM
Callie 17 Apr 00 - 03:39 AM
Billy the Bus 17 Apr 00 - 04:26 AM
Billy the Bus 17 Apr 00 - 04:50 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Apr 00 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 17 Apr 00 - 05:42 AM
Little Neophyte 17 Apr 00 - 07:16 AM
kendall 17 Apr 00 - 08:36 AM
catspaw49 17 Apr 00 - 08:41 AM
Mooh 17 Apr 00 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,James 17 Apr 00 - 09:05 AM
Easy Rider 17 Apr 00 - 09:22 AM
Caitrin 17 Apr 00 - 09:28 AM
Easy Rider 17 Apr 00 - 09:37 AM
jets 17 Apr 00 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Mrrzy-at-work 17 Apr 00 - 09:43 AM
catspaw49 17 Apr 00 - 09:46 AM
JedMarum 17 Apr 00 - 09:47 AM
Mooh 17 Apr 00 - 09:50 AM
The Shambles 17 Apr 00 - 09:56 AM
kendall 17 Apr 00 - 09:59 AM
Jim the Bart 17 Apr 00 - 10:04 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Apr 00 - 11:07 AM
katlaughing 17 Apr 00 - 11:08 AM
Gary T 17 Apr 00 - 11:30 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Apr 00 - 11:33 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 17 Apr 00 - 11:46 AM
ceitagh 17 Apr 00 - 12:11 PM
BlueJay 17 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM
Jim the Bart 17 Apr 00 - 01:38 PM
Ringer 17 Apr 00 - 01:52 PM
katlaughing 17 Apr 00 - 02:02 PM
Bill D 17 Apr 00 - 02:13 PM
DougR 17 Apr 00 - 02:52 PM
Wesley S 17 Apr 00 - 02:57 PM
Bill D 17 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM
kendall 17 Apr 00 - 03:06 PM
BlueJay 17 Apr 00 - 03:16 PM
Ditchdweller 17 Apr 00 - 03:29 PM
DougR 17 Apr 00 - 03:41 PM
BlueJay 17 Apr 00 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 17 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM
Wesley S 17 Apr 00 - 04:18 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Apr 00 - 04:52 PM
DougR 17 Apr 00 - 04:57 PM
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Subject: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 12:45 AM

I thought about this while perusing the "Folk songs for Conservatives" thread.

The words "conservative and liberal" are often thrown out to describe someone's political viewpoint, but it has occured to me that I personally know very few folks who would fit either description consistently. Many of my "political" friends would be pretty liberal socially, but fiscally quite conservative, and there are some (like me) who are all over the map...with seemingly very contradictory views on issues that some see as related.

Of course in Canada we have the "Liberal" party and the (Progressive) "Conservative" party, which many think are idealogically very close. The New Democrats and Canadian Alliance parties in theory represent the farther "Left" and "right", but are still very mainstream when compared to the splits in most other countries.

I'm just curious how Mudcatters would define "conservative" and "liberal" as it applies to them personally. Certainly in the 60s many "folkies" were quite liberal, but most that I know of have tempered a lot of their views as they got older. Any thoughts?

Rick


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 12:53 AM

Don't mean to monopolize...but one area where I sense quite a change in my views is capital punishment. When I was 20 and singing Phil Ochs' "Iron Lady", I would have been VERY anti- C.P. but now (I guess from reading about so many plea-bargained and loop-holed trial verdicts) I'm pretty ambivalent about violent criminals being "done in" by the State. Guess I've lost the desire to believe that ALL life is sacred. Just too many horror stories....and I guess that gives me a pretty "conservative" slant in that area.

Rick


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 12:57 AM

I think conservatives prefer to define this for themselves, to the nth degree, and that's enuff definition for me.

~S~


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 01:51 AM

I would say I am fairly liberal when it comes to believing in a strong safety net, care for the aged, good public housing, etc. I am an arch-conservative when it comes to believing that people receiving such benefits, and that includes most of us in one form or another, had damn well better behave themselves while receiving it...such as if they live in public housing they had better not use drugs, destroy the property, invite unsavory characters over or intimidate other tenants. Not a compassionate conservative by any means. More of a kick-ass liberal. mg


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: GUEST,No 2
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 01:57 AM

Personally, I think that anybody who makes less than $500,000 per year should be sent to jail and executed.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: DougR
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:07 AM

Rick: As I said in the previous Thread you mentioned, I consider myself a Conservative and I am a member of the Republican Party. My remarks must be limited to the U.S. of course and reflect only what I believe not necessarily what I think everybody should believe. I believe that government should answer to the people, not the other way around; that government should be only as large as necessary to function as the Founding Fathers intended it to based on the U.S. Constitution; that the people should not look to the government to solve all their problems; that decisions affecting the health and welfare of the people can better be decided at the State level rather than at the Federal level; that the U.S. should have a strong defense; that term limits for politicians is desirable; that the government should live within its means; that we should respect the views of those who don't agree with us. I support the death penalty and do not support gun control or gun registration, but I do not believe the citizens have any need for automatic weapons. I could probably elaborate more if I gave it more thought.

DougR


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Callie
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 03:39 AM

The thing I find intersting about a lot of "open-minded"/"free-thinking" people I know and love is that they are very small-minded when it comes to people who hold more conservative beliefs. So although they will support causes for social struggle in all sorts of sphere of human endeavour, they will ridicule people who are, say, religious.

The verdict: I think even the most free-minded and intelligent people need to be careful about not becoming so over-zealous that more conservative people are left out of their equation.

I hope I'm making sense. It's the end of a long work day.

--Callie


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 04:26 AM

Rick,

Like you, I sang anti-CP songs in the 60s. At that time, I could have probably named every person murdered in NZ in the past decade. Now, I wouldn't even have a clue how many have been murdered this year, let alone their names.

Like you, I now wonder about the Psychopaths" (hate using that word) who are incarcerated for maybe 15 years, set out into society, and kill again within weeks.

This may sound frivilous, but, here are my definitions.

Conservative = One who drives on the right side of the road in the USA/Canada/Europe, and on the left side of the road in Japan/UK?Aust/NZ.

[Aside] - All "Right thinkin' lefties" know "The left side of the road is the 'right' side, and the right side is the 'wrong' side"..;)

Liberal = One who drives fair up the white line in the middle of the road, no matter where in the world. And manages to avoid traffic from BOTH directions. Either by "skill", or "chance"

I'm a "wartime baby" (1943) and grew up with "Ban-the-bomb", Korea, Cold War, Malaysia, Vietnam, "environment" etc....

I've just deleted a zillionteethree "yellow legal pages" of waffle, and had a "Marmite" sandwich.....

If you're "all over the map", Rick, you are Liberal - if you are "all over the road", you still are (hopefully not drunk). If you have a firmly fixed position (either to left or right)

I like to think us 60s "Liberals", tried to steer the middle course, between the "Left/Right, Left/Right..."

  • Martial Marching Music fades off to..


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 04:50 AM

Whoops, hit the wrong button, while doing the clever HTML bits....;)

"If you have a firmly fixed position" you are Conservative either on the "Left" or "Right"

Martial music fades Left, or Right...;)

Callie, the first "free-thinker" I ever talked with was wonderfully "over-zealous" - he was involved with a race between a piano and a dinghy, across the mountains on the Milford Track in NZ in the 30s. But, you are correct - be "small-minded" and you can't "free-think".

Liberal? walk that tightrope, teeter from one side to the other, but try to keep in balance. Respect others' viewpoints, but try not to slip with one leg either side of the fence. I did, when I was 8 (balls just dropping) - I "flaked" and probably still haven't recovered....;)

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 05:03 AM

A conservative is someone who is minded to conserve the status quo. That sounds harmless but it is the corollaries which start to bite so that the final result is that a conservative wishes tohelp the rich oppress the poor so that the rich stay rich and get richer and the poor get poorer, and injustice can be visited by the rich on the poor simply because of the power of the status quo.

Why so you think Margaret Thatcher caused and aggravated the UK recession? Why so that the workers could not get thier just desserts from her capitalist friends! TO compel labour to march to her diktat.

And if that makes me sound like a Marxist - well I started off pretty right wing at 14 - I even believed that some people were better able to form an intelligetn view than others and so deserved more votes! - and now I'm 52 I've seen a thing or two and I know tha tthe only reason that capitalism stick together is that the workers go unrequited for a part of thier labour. I've been an employer, I've been an employee, now I try to do everything myself with a computer. THat way, no class war.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 05:42 AM

I suppose I would call anyone to the right of me a conservative. It is like the old triplet joke: I am cautious, you are conservative,he is a fascist.
RtS


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 07:16 AM

It is a good question Rick. No one has ever asked me whether I am Conservative or Liberal. I was always told you MUST vote Conservative or it will be bad for the family business.

But I would honestly say I am someone who leans towards being 'quite' liberal yet I live amongst strong conservatives. I think the conservatives I live amongst like having me around. It makes them feel they are more liberal than they really are.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 08:36 AM

Conservatives..show me a man who is only interested in his own welfare, and has no sense of humor, and I'll show you a conservative. Seriously, when I think of conservative, I think of hypocrites like Ronald Reagan. He promised to balance the budget, yet, in 8 years he never submitted one balanced budget. In 8 years he drove us an extra 3 TRILLION dollars into debt.
Local control you say? How about the high school principal in South Carolina who said he would cancel the prom if anyone showed up with someone of another race? How about Mississippi? They finally got around to abolishing slavery 5 years ago. Governor Barnett, and George Wallace defying the national government by barring the doors to state colleges. Thats local control!! How many of you are old enough to remember this stuff on a personal level? I was raised on welfare, and not one goddmned dime of it ever went to non essentials. Consequently, I was able to stay in school, go on to college, and now I pay my fair share of taxes. You want to cut down on government spending? Tell Trent Lott to quit forcing unneeded, unwanted ships from his backyard on the pentagon. Corporate welfare has a much higher price tag than food stamps to the needy. Man, I could really get into it on this thread. Finally, I've been there, seen it with my own eyes not from some piece of propaganda from either party. Sorry, I'm not usually this mouthy.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 08:41 AM

"Well I'm liberal to a degree, I think everybody should be free.
But if you think I'd let Barry Goldwater move in next door, marry my daughter,
You must think I'm crazy!"

Actually its an interesting subject Rick...Especially as it pertains to aging. I think the tags flew all over the board and in an effort to pin pols down on a position, the words have become almost meaningless. I heard about a radical conservative and I had no idea what that could be. I'll be checking in on this one a lot. (Sorry)

BTW, am I the only one who just loves Sam's (Billy the Bus) great "Stream of Semi-Consciousness" writing? Great stuff!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Mooh
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 08:41 AM

Rick, personally and politically I'm neither.

Little Neo, I can't imagine being told how to vote, though I know it happens all the time, but not to me. No one would presume to tell me how to vote, and if they did I would tell them how to get off...even if there's not much to vote for...usually it's a choice between evils.

My taste in guitars is quite liberal, but that's as far right as I go. In my neck of the woods I see the Liberals as right wing as the conservatives (who are governing poorly and bizarrely) and I'm so far removed that I don't count politically. We are slowly killing ourselves by killing the environment, little else matters. The meek are not so blessed if there's no earth to inherit. I can't really define myself except to say that capital and lower case C conservative I'm not.

Re voting: if you choose not to decide, you've still made a choice. I've destroyed my ballot rather than voted. Practically no one represents me.

Before I consider politics I always consider this, by considering politics do I risk my belief system? The answer is always yes.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:05 AM

I think liberals have embraced political correctness to the point of filling the world with little facsisms....Conservatives on the other hand...are little farcsisms.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Easy Rider
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:22 AM

A Conservative is someone who will never try anything for the first time.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Caitrin
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:28 AM

I was actually discussing this with my father in the car yesterday. It seems to me that a conservative believes in the preservation of the status quo. However, most of the people I know who consider themselves conservative do not fit this profile.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Easy Rider
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:37 AM

Many of the people, whom we call Conservative, are really reactionary. They want to change things, but in a different direction from the Liberals.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: jets
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:39 AM

As for my views on this matter,see above remarks by Kendall for I too lived through the deppresion.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: GUEST,Mrrzy-at-work
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:43 AM

Remember the old saying, if you aren't a liberal at 20, you have no heart, and if you aren't a conservative at 40, you have no brain...


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:46 AM

I have no brain....but that's been pointed out before.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:47 AM

I don't fit either description. When I watched three people ahead of me walk into the polling location a few weeks ago, the man at the door greeted each of my neighbors - when I approached he reminded me that this was the Republican polling location, and that the Democrates were voting in the door down the hall!

In the US Liberals label themselves as ones who care about their fellow man, and who accept lifestyles alternative to the mainstream - count me in! In the US conservatives label themselves as those who protect free enterprise and preserving the basic tenets of our culture - well I believe in those too!

I hate to let issues define me, but; I believe strongly in personal freedom, personal responsibility, strong personal values, and self actualization. I love and respect humanity and find genuine generosity is a natural trait, to me. I support 'CP', and a 'right to choice', religious freedom - I oppose most gun control, all tax based social engineering programs, censorship.

Where does that put me? Like others in this thread; I suspect idealistically; I'm all over the map!


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Mooh
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:50 AM

James, brilliant! Mooh.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:56 AM

I think I am with Richard Bridge. A conservative is one who strongly believes in all the personal freedoms but would, with a clear conscience consistently deny them to others. I always think of it as pulling the drawbridge up behind you. Those who are not conservative, may still do the very same thing but it would at least bother them more and they would struggle a lot with their conscience.

This split is very deep in us, but narrowing? The following may seem not to have a lot a relevance to the question asked but my brain tends to widen things out a bit.

There was a series of TV programmes on the history of keeping exotic wild animals in Britain. This practice went way back, hence all the lions, elephants and bears depicted in heraldry. The most popular early books, other than the Bible, were illustrations and fanciful descriptions of both these real and mythical creatures.

Our fascination with them continues but our attitudes towards this have developed from ignorance of their requirements, to public shows and cruel baiting, to scientific interest and compassion for their welfare. This progress has been slow but generally welcomed to the point where we now tend to question the whole practice of keeping animals in captivity.

But baiting and exploitation of all types of animals for sport, betting and pleasure does still occur. If Don King organised something like a large-scale public contest, of bear baiting and this were to be legally possible to be staged, in one of our more 'civilised' countries. There would still be some people who would be in favour of it and whose conscience would not at all be troubled by, the unnecessary infliction of pain on the poor animals…… Fact. Unpleasant one but a fact never the less.

I am not suggesting that all conservatives are in favour of torturing animals. I just use it to demonstrate how deep the split can be between the way people look at things.

There appears to me in politics, to be those who appear to hate and as consequence, appeal to those I would describe as, 'haters'. Or at least to appeal to that mean spirited side of all us. You do not have to look too hard or far to find examples of this and of the resulting carnage and on-going misery caused.

The lesson we can learn from our changing attitudes towards the keeping of wild animals does give me some hope for the future, if only we have enough time to learn. For seeing the full knowledge of our past mistakes, does present the opportunity for us to do it better.

Which is why it is so important that we never allow certain individuals and groups to re-write history.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 09:59 AM

hey guest Mrrzy at work -- that quote came from Winston Churchill, a well known monarchist


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 10:04 AM

I just want to throw a few things out there on this question. I'm testing my opinions on this subject and hope a good battering from the mudcat forum will disclose the holes.

I can't be a conservative because I do not see anything in this world that is ever "conserved". Things change constantly and to keep up you need to constantly check your definitions, question your assumptions and adjust your positions. For example, back in the day when those who owned held absolute power over their employees, the unions were absolutely necessary to achieve workers rights. At some point the balance of power in industry shifted. Now the need for unions in some industries can and should be questioned.

I don't consider myself a liberal, because I don't know what that term means at all. It isn't about freedom, per se, because many so-called "liberal programs" are aimed at limiting personal choice for the benefit of the body politic. If you consider liberalism "freedom with responsibility" you come a little closer to what I believe, and I don't know where on the political spectrum that falls. I am so confused.

If you ask me how I vote when it's time to stop pondering this stuff and it's time to make your choice as a good American, I do not declare party affiliation, but I genearlly find myself agreeing with the Democratic parties positions. However I vote, I do so never forgetting that the party platform is just a bunch of hooie anyway - circumstances will arise and the platform is tossed out and that's the end of that. Politics makes extremely strange bedfellows.

Am I middle of the road? The one thing I do firmly know is that all the interesting stuff that happens in this world comes from out on the fringes. And it's the stuff that works it's way in from the fringe to mainstream that makes life a little better. That's why I'm open to new ideas, philosophies, solutions, assumptions. . .Which party - which end od the spectrum - is more likely to nurture new ideas? You will have to tell me.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 11:07 AM

Good writing Cat-friends. Thanks for the feedback.

I think one of reasons that I started (by about 20) to be be suspicious of ALL ideologies was the inability of so many people I knew to back up their beliefs with convincing arguements (rarely a problem at Mudcat). Mob-mentality and peer pressure, often often seemed to colour (or completely define) someone's local AND global view. When I read Marx, I felt compelled to try and understand WHO the man was, how consistant his personal everyday behaviour was with his political views, and as much as possible about how his contemporaries perceived him. Same with other prominent humans who've influenced the times. For a couple of examples: The more I learned about Cesar Chavez, the more I admired him...the more I learned about Jesse Jackson, the more I disliked him...and yet, in the most popular definitions..The two of them would be very much on the same side.

I have tremendous admiration for Pete Seeger. Not only for his life-long dedication to getting people to sing, but for his "I may not be able to change the world, but I'm not going to let the world change me" persona.

It's funny how childhood adventure books can shape some of your beliefs as well. From reading the Robin Hood stories, I formed a picture of "Good" King Richard The Lionheart, as a protector of the poor English peasants...deperately trying to get back to England from his imprisonment, so he could depose his evil "arch-conservative nogoodnick" brother King John. OyVay! talk about someone who's virtues didn't stand up to personal scrutiny!

Rick


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 11:08 AM

Interesting points, Bartholomew.

When I moved back to Wyoming, after ten years in New England, the Democrats here turned their noses up at me, declaring me an Eastern democrat i.e. WAY TOO liberal for their tastes. First I'd ever heard of such a thing...since I grew up that way, in the West, I naively thought "a Democrat is a Democrat is a Democrat." Boy, did I learn! It is quite often difficult to tell Dem and Rep apart here and, in fact, the libertarians and others have taken to calling all "Republicrats."

I believe anything which because a cause or political movement for conservatives is generally driven by fear for the personal status quo/self. It may be couched in terms of saving a fetus; perserving tax breaks, etc., but if you follow those to their root cause, you will find fear. Fear of loss of control, loss of status quo, fear of diversity in all ways.I am NOT saying all conservatives are a bunch of paranoid ninnies just that FEAR is a powerful motivator.

I also believe liberals can be motivated by fear, but I think in general, that fear encompasses more than themselves. They are more likely to be concerned for the rights/safety of others, too.

Yes, I know this may sound simplistic: plenty of people whom I consider to be conservatives work together to ensure each other's rights. An example of what I am trying to say is there are many liberals who would work to ensure gay and lesbians may marry whomever they wish, regardless of thier own sexual preference, so that, if heterosexual, they are campaigning in a true alruistic sense. As a contrast to that, I would opine conservatives who campaign to limit a woman's right to choose, are motivated by their own control over someone else, reagrdless of their gender.

Okay, that's enough hot buttons. The recognition of fear as a motivator has come as a result of my six years in Wyoming working for human rights and to promote diversity. Humans are basically fearful of anything new or unknown. If we can addres the fears, of all *sides* it is my hope we can all balance it out, together (notice I did NOT use that overused term "meet on common ground"**BG**!) Now....that sounds like a pretty liberal stance to me and I am proud to be consider so, but I am sure that comes as no surprise to you all.*G*

Good thread, Rick, thanks.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Gary T
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 11:30 AM

Amidst the tug-of-war among various viewpoints, society/government/culture/what-have-you (or any portion of these) will change over time. In retrospect, this necessary/inevitable change is deemed middle-of-the-road (moderate). Those who want to halt this change are deemed conservative (conserving the status quo). Those who want to accelerate change proportionally to how conservatives want to retard it are deemed liberal. Those who want to not just stop the "normal" change but reverse its direction are considered reactionary, and those who want to accelerate the change proportional to that (i.e., a lot) are considered radical. While some are on either the right (conservative/reactionary) or on the left (liberal/radical) side on most or all issues, I wouldn't be surprised to find that most people are on the right on some issues while on the left side on others.

Naturally, the liberals feel they are advocating change for the better, and that it's overdue. Conservatives feel that the change is for the worse, and that it's premature. Moderates feel that things are progressing at an acceptable pace.

I see myself as conservative on gun control (no need for more laws), moderate on environmental concerns (don't want to stop or go back but also don't want to jump into things), liberal on abortion rights (should be less encumbered by legal restrictions), and radical on religion/state (get those prayers out of legislatures and public school games). I'm probably reactionary on some things, but they don't come to mind right now. Overall, I think of myself as conservative-to-moderate.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 11:33 AM

Kat wrote:

"Yes, I know this may sound simplistic: plenty of people whom I consider to be conservatives work together to ensure each other's rights. An example of what I am trying to say is there are many liberals who would work to ensure gay and lesbians may marry whomever they wish, regardless of thier own sexual preference, so that, if heterosexual, they are campaigning in a true alruistic sense. As a contrast to that, I would opine conservatives who campaign to limit a woman's right to choose, are motivated by their own control over someone else, reagrdless of their gender."

I think that's a valid point Kat,(ie: you'll get flack) and puts in a simple way what I might have taken 3 awkward paragraphs to say.

The whole "hot button" thing is certainly connected to where you live. In Ontario, prayer in schools, gun registration, fetal termination, etc. are "mildly warm" buttons at best. In Alberta....hot, hot, hot. The "hottest button" here is "work for welfare" with "the young offenders act" a close second. Quebec seperation which was THE ISSUE a couple of years ago is practically non-existant now.

Nice to know that Mudcat can still at times be more informative than the morning papers.

Rick


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 11:46 AM

I suppose I'm considered Conservative, but like Winston Churchill would support Labour/Liberalism under certain circumstances. The strange thing is people complain but fail to vote; and some complain but re-elect the very same politicians they are disgusted with. Better the devil you know than the devil you dont know? I dont like labels, one should vote for the politician who best serves your interests.. If you cannot find one, start a new party. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: ceitagh
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 12:11 PM

This is a really interesting discussion. I guess I'd be labeled 'conservative' by anyone who wanted to bother labelling me. I don't think of myself that way. In one of my classes we answered a group of questions that were supposed to place us on the political spectrum somewhere...i ended up smack dab in the middle- a bit to the left, actually. This surprised my friends a bit, who had assumed I'd be somewhere in the far right because of my 'religiousity'. If it weren't for the moral/social issues, i'd probably join the NDP.

My best attempt at labelling myself would be to call myself a semi-socialist, pro-gun control, anti-big business, pro-community, pro-life, anti-discrimination, pro-welfare (within limits), anti-death penalty (i can't understand anyone who doesn't see all the life issues as being equally important), pro more support for families, feminist (in the style of the suffragettes) who would like to see more local control in government, less war, no discrimination between races (in all ways...hiring quotas strike me as being just one more way to create friction between peoples) and more consideration between varying ideologies on a purely human level. I guess I just liking siding with the 'little guy'. :-)

In my experience (and apparently in most of yours) there's a real problem with the current left-right image of politics. We are all more 3D than that narrow-visioned line.

Ceitagh


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: BlueJay
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 01:01 PM

Aye, Dave. A third party, (or fourth or fifth), might shake things up a bit. Unfortunately, in the US, the cards are stacked against that happening. Even the press doesn't give the smaller parties a fair shake. Things seem stacked to favor the status quo- Democrat vs Republican in most elections. Having watched years of Democratic control followed by years of Republican control, (of Congress), they all pretty much sicken me. Like so many others responding to this thread, I'm politically all over the map. I don't think the Feds should tell us how to run our state. Likewise, I don't think the state should involve itself in local issues, but this is what our Republican majority legislature and Rpublican Governor do over and over: from concealed weopons to the Ten Commandments in the classroom. Now talk about status quo: All State owned buildings in the State are smoke free. Except for the Colorado Capitol Building, which the Legislature recently exempted, so they can puff away while arguing what to do about the Columbine High School Massacre. The Best they've come up with so far is to put The Ten Commandments in every classroom in the State!. (Our State Attorney General has stated that bill doesn't stand a chance, constitutionally, should the Governor actually sign it). For the time being, I'll vote Democratic, as overall I sympathize with their platform a little bit more. But if the playing field is ever REALLY levelled for other parties, I just might defect. The Reform Party just doesn't do it for me right now. Thanks, BlueJay.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 01:38 PM

Another thought or two on this subject:

People like to generalize by saying that conservatives are primarily motivated by self-interest, whereas liberals are more likely to consider the interests of others as well. I like to think that we need to see that as we populate more and more of this world, self-interest and the common-good become more and more entwined. Protecting the rights of people who have different sexual preferences than our own should help to bolster our own rights to make choices. But that isn't always true. If I own a two-flat and choose not to rent the upstairs to a gay couple, I do not have that right under the law. If this a good thing or not? Am I trying to protect my children from a life-style of which I don't approve or am I clinging to an outmoded standard of morality that no longer applies in this world? Who makes the call?

In the movie "Defending Your Life", Albert Brooks makes an interesting case about the purpose of life in this realm. As I understand it, the goal is to overcome our fear and to trust in love. That is how you move on. That is also the progression in the Christian Bible - old testament God = Fear and new testament God = love.

I like the idea that letting go of fear benefits us, yet I teach my children to be afraid of strangers, to not jump off tall things, to slow down etc. So obviously there is fear that serves a purpose and simplistic answers won't fit.

To tie this ramble back to our original discussion, are you a conservative out of the fear of change, or for the love of the world as it is? Are you a liberal out of the love for your fellowman or the fear of losing your rights and freedoms? Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

There are good and bad reasons to try to maintain the status quo, just as there are good and bad reasons for advocating change. And the results or our actions rarely get us 100% of what we wanted, needed or anticipated. So I will apply what I know to the choice at hand and hope for the best. And today you might call me a conservative SOB and tomorrow a Liberal navel-gazer. But please don't call me inconsistent - maybe you just aren't seeing the logic that is at work.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Ringer
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 01:52 PM

A conservative is someone who believes in small government and that the rights of the individual take precedence over the rights of the state. All government restricts my individual freedoms and as such is a Bad Thing. Nevertheless, anarchy is a Worse Thing, so some government is necessary, but it should be no part of government to run coal-mines or car-factories or mail-services, etc etc etc.

Kat (the capital-K marks the start of a new sentence: I hope you'll understand), what does this mean- "I believe anything which because a cause or political movement for conservatives is generally driven by fear for the personal status quo/self."? I think that, if I understood it, I wouldn't agree.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:02 PM

Bald Eagle,(of course I understand the upper case at the beginning of a sentence. I only *harp* about the lower case in deference to the other "Kat")

Sorry for the typo. The sentence you ask about should have read: I believe anything which becomes a cause or political movement for conservatives is generally driven by fear for the personal status quo/self.

Just my opinion/belief; feel free to disagree, of course.

kat


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:13 PM

To me, the important divisions between people are between those who want fair & equal opportunity and freedom to THINK as they please....and those who want to restrict rights of others and FORCE or INTIMIDATE others to do it 'their' way...I guess I am sort of a liberal with funny digressions...(freedom of religion should mean the right to go to any church of their choosing, etc...NOT the right to insert their beliefs into public gatherings, schools, political campaigns, "pledges of allegience", etc.)

**Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion for those who so choose**

part of the definition problem is that you sometimes find yourself holding positions similar to people you don't really like or respect...and then you realize...THEY hold the position for the 'wrong reason'...and this is where I part company from many conservatives. I have VERY strong beliefs about things like population control, the death penalty, government meddling in peoples lives, education, immigration, race relations...etc. But I seem to approach these issues from a 'liberal' viewpoint, whis to me is sort of a "greatest good for the greatest number" attitude...whereas I see MANY 'conservatives' reaching their conclusions from an attitude that smells to me of "self interest" and the "Golden Rule"..(you know, "them that has the gold, makes the rules").

But in the long run, a lot of it boils down to the old saw, "It all depends on whose ox is being gored"

In Nietzsche's "Also Sprach Zarathustra", he has on old woman saying-"Of course it was a just war, my son died in it"......these days, it could also be "Of course it was a just war, I made a LOT of money from it."


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: DougR
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:52 PM

Seems I struck a chord (so to speak) with Kendell, and some others. Don't know how old you folks are; I'm 70, so I've been to a few goat ropin's and more than an axel greasing away from home. Was raised in a family that was politically Democrats (USoA) and I'm certainly not rich. I don't know why, but the definition of "extremism" such as that noted by Kendell in his thread is always equated with Conservatives. There are, I assume, no "extreme" Liberals. Never-the-less, I respect the views that are different than mine (my 74 year old brother is a flaming Liberal and I love him dearly we just don't talk politics). One thing to keep in mind, though and I'm sure everone in the U.S. is aware of this, the President, regardless of political party, can do nothing without a Congress to support and agree with his/her (not yet but soon) policies. And it wasn't a Republican controlled Congress that got this country so deep in debt. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 02:57 PM

I haven't been able to figure out what conservative fans of folk music listen to.

This land is my land, I'll stripmine it for a profit

Then I'll screw all the workers that used to live on it

Then deny them insurance because they're part time workers

This land is owned by me not thee.

Excuse the scarcasm but I'm not sure why the conservatives would want to listen to folk music. Is it the right wings long history of working for the rights of the downtrodden ? Their struggle to win voting rights for the blues singers we listen to ? Or their well known support of the arts? I'm sure I'm way off base with my opinions - someone please straighten me out. I'm willing to listen.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM

EITHER party tends to take credit for anything good that comes out in the news while they are in power, while blaming bad news on the other party...the question of who got us into or out of, debt, is seldom examined from a neutral position. I suspect that many of the fiscal trends operate partially independant of any one party or individual....like the weather, there are just too many factors to consider to place blame easily.

(oohh, look..a 'wishy-washy' viewpoint! he isn't willing to make sweeping accusations like a true _______ (fill in the blanks)*grin*


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: kendall
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 03:06 PM

You are right..congress went along with the Actor because they lacked the guts to oppose him. Thanks to his one liners and professional bullshit, too many voters swallowed what he was saying and the poloticians knew it. Now, I'd still like to know what rights we have lost under the liberals?? Still have seen no specifics.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: BlueJay
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 03:16 PM

Wesley- I appreciate your humor, and agree with you in part. But this has all been covered on the "conservative folk song" thread. I don't think I got that title right. I tend toward liberalism in most things, and am fiercely liberal in others. Yet I have flaming conservative friends who are damn fine musicians, we can get together and play my songs or their songs, it doesn't really matter. Politics is politics, and music is music, mostly I don't think you should take it all too personally. I would have no problem playing "Okie from Muskogee" or "Ballad of the Green Berets" as long as I had someone good to play it with. It really shouldn't be any different than playing "Moon River". (How about that as a double-time Dobro piece)?


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Ditchdweller
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 03:29 PM

Hey Kendall, I do not know about the shysters you elect on your side of the big pond, but looking at the shower of s*** on both benches of the House of Commons, what the hell is wrong with being a monarchist? Sapper


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: DougR
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 03:41 PM

Kat! Rick! Why do you assume that ALL Conservatives are opposed to "right to choose"? That ALL Conservatives are opposed to same sex marriages? That simply isn't so! I wish the abortion issue had never gotten into politics in the first place. It doesn't belong there! I believe strongly in a woman's right to choose. Also, I have no objection at all to same sex marriages! Sounds trite to say it, but some of my best friends are Gay and most of them have committed partners. Ever heard of the "Log Cabin" Republians folks? I'll betcha even some of them are Conservatives.

And Kat, I disagree with you when you say Conservatives fear losing control, I think what they fear is losing liberties. After all, the United States Congress was controlled for forty years by Democrats (most of them Liberals). Now THAT's control.

I won't even comment on those remarks some folks made about Conservatives fearing change or being opposed to change. Or wanting to "keep things just as they are." Most Conservatives I know gave up horseback riding to get from one place to another several decades ago, they have refrigerators instead of ice boxes, their homes and cars are air conditioned, they use computers, they rarely eat uncooked food, they sleep indoors, etc., etc. etc. That definition is so simplistic it just boggles my mind. Of course one of our guys DIDN'T invent the Internet, though, that's true. **BG**

One more comment and I'll get off my soap box. The remarks I have made are limited to the United States as it relates to politics. I have no eartly idea what the definition of Liberal and Conservative might be in other countries.

DougR


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: BlueJay
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 03:58 PM

Rick R- I agree with you in substance but it seems to be the Conservative movement who are against gay marriages, abortion, and who are always hounding libraries to throw out "Catcher in the Rye". I think this is because the Republican Party has been usurped by the Christian Right and the NRA. If these external PAC's were absent, I might be more of a conservative. One more thing: It wouldn't surprise me if it is the Republicans who finally manage to TAX the internet. Wait and see. BlueJay


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM

Conservatives are the 'cream' of society, so called because they are rich, thick and always seem to rise to the top.


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 04:18 PM

Then I'm on a non-fat diet


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 04:52 PM

Hi Wesley. Actually I can't see why even an arch-conservative would have any trouble with folk music. You're quoting from Woody's "This Land..." which is hardly a folk song. I can see why they'd be pretty pissed at some of the modern composed songs of the sixties, but the vast majority of folk music is hardly political...lotsa murders, sinking ships, deer shooting, bad man ballads, river and lake songs etc.

Hi Doug. I don't! I don't! Kat's politics and mine are probably fairly far apart, although we agree on some issues. I said she had a "valid point" but I certainly don't think it's true in all cases. Seriously, I try to make up my mind on a "case by case" basis.

Rick


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Subject: RE: How would 'YOU' define 'conservative'?
From: DougR
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 04:57 PM

Big business seems to be the root of America's problems if one were to embrace the beliefs of a lot of folks contributing to this thread (and "fat cats" too of course). So, why don't we abolish big business? Of course if we did, we might have a problem supplying the demand for a few things, like: electricity, automobiles, food (most farms are owned by big businesses now), clothing, oil, computers and software, and on and on. We could look to our friendly neighbors to supply us with all of those things, of course but that would cost a lot of money. We won't have any money because we won't have any jobs. Maybe the government could supply us with it. Nope, we don't earn any money so there are no taxes to support a government. It's a puzzelment. :>)

DougR


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